What is "To the trade" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 15-May-2023 (11 months, 2 days ago)
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To the trade

In the textile industry, the term "To the Trade" refers to a business model and practice where certain products or services are exclusively available to professionals within the industry. It signifies that the particular item or offering is intended for wholesale or commercial purchase by professionals, such as interior designers, architects, or retailers, rather than being available to the general public.

History and Origin

The concept of "To the Trade" originated as a way to establish a distinction between products and services available to industry professionals and those accessible to the general consumer market. This practice emerged in the early 20th century when manufacturers and suppliers recognized the need to cater to the specialized needs of professionals in the design and retail sectors.

Types of "To the Trade" Products and Services

There are various types of products and services that fall under the "To the Trade" category in the textile industry:

  1. Fabric and Textiles: Many textile manufacturers offer exclusive fabric collections, including designer fabrics, upholstery materials, and decorative textiles, specifically for industry professionals.
  2. Furniture and Furnishings: "To the Trade" furniture encompasses customized or specialty pieces, high-end furnishings, and unique designs that are not widely available to the general public.
  3. Lighting and Fixtures: Lighting manufacturers often provide "To the Trade" options, such as custom lighting fixtures or limited edition designs.
  4. Accessories and Decorative Items: This category includes exclusive home decor accessories, artwork, rugs, and other decorative items that are specifically marketed to professionals in the industry.
  5. Design Services: Many interior designers, architects, and design firms offer "To the Trade" services, providing specialized expertise, project management, and access to exclusive resources for clients.

Tips for Handling "To the Trade" Products and Services

Professionals engaged in the "To the Trade" sector should consider the following tips when dealing with these exclusive products and services:

  • Membership and Credentials: Professionals should acquire the necessary memberships, affiliations, or credentials that grant access to "To the Trade" offerings.
  • Industry Networking: Building relationships with manufacturers, suppliers, and fellow professionals in the industry can provide access to a broader range of "To the Trade" options and resources.
  • Understanding Product Specifications: Professionals should have a thorough understanding of product specifications, such as fabric composition, durability, and maintenance requirements, to ensure proper selection and usage.
  • Appropriate Pricing and Markup: Industry professionals need to determine appropriate pricing and markup strategies when working with "To the Trade" products to ensure profitability.
  • Managing Client Expectations: Communicating the exclusivity and added value of "To the Trade" products and services to clients is crucial in setting proper expectations and justifying premium pricing.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Several prominent international users and manufacturers specialize in "To the Trade" products and services within the textile industry. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Designers Guild: Designers Guild, based in the United Kingdom, offers an extensive range of designer fabrics, wallcoverings, and home accessories exclusively to industry professionals.
  • Rubelli: Rubelli, an Italian luxury textile brand, provides exquisite fabrics, including silk, velvet, and damask, tailored for interior designers and architects.
  • Scalamandr: Scalamandr, a renowned American textile company, offers high-end fabrics, trims, wallpapers, and furnishings exclusively for professionals in the design trade.
  • Kravet: Kravet, an established American fabric and furnishings company, provides an extensive collection of "To the Trade" fabrics, furniture, and decorative accessories.
  • Stark: Stark, a global leader in luxury carpets and rugs, offers exclusive designs and custom options for interior designers and architects.


"To the Trade" in the textile industry signifies a business model where specific products and services are exclusively available to industry professionals. This concept, which originated in the early 20th century, caters to the specialized needs of professionals in design, architecture, and retail sectors. It encompasses a range of exclusive fabric, furniture, lighting, accessories, and design services. Professionals engaged in the "To the Trade" sector should focus on building industry connections, understanding product specifications, and effectively managing client expectations. Prominent international users and manufacturers of "To the Trade" products and services include Designers Guild, Rubelli, Scalamandr, Kravet, and Stark, among others.

To the trade
Policy where furniture, fabric, lighting or wallcoverings are sold exclusively through or to retailers, upholsterers, designers and architects at wholesale showrooms. Retail clients may sometimes be allowed to shop when they are working with and buying through said professionals.

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